Just for fun I took the TrackMan out to the bunker to “see” exactly what happens when I hit my stock bunker shot.
So I thought I’d show you what happens. Please remember this is the SAME shot with different video shots so you can see each stage…the numbers below each frame are only for impact.
As you can see at address my spine is centered and I am leaning a touch leftward at address from the front angle. This helps me to keep my low point under control through impact.
From the down the line view, I am not a huge advocate of setting up wide open with everything on my normal stock bunker shot because I believe it complicates the process at first. Thus you will see my body is slightly left of my target line (the white line) and the clubface is a touch open.
Something to note I have never opened the face a big amount and thus I tend to pull most of my bunker shots so you can imagine why I don’t aim that far left. However if you examine the left frame and the red arrow that shows impact…you can see that they are basically the same from address to impact.
Therefore I should open my face a touch more so I don’t pull the ball! I need the face a touch closer to my target line at address, not as far left as we see here.
You can see that due to the open set up, the club is moving up and away off the start with the clubhead staying outside the hands as it should in the second frame.
Top of the Backswing
Now as we move to the top of my backswing you can see how the club has stayed out in front of my body which will help the club to move out to in through impact. The butt of the club is pointing between the ball and my toes showing me that the backswing has been more vertical to the top and less around which is what I like to see.
Most player get into trouble here when the shaft lays down a touch, and the butt of the club points at the ball…this causes the club to come into the ball a touch too shallow giving you inconsistent contact.
Checking out impact in the right frame you will see that the path (blue line) was moving out to in at -8.6 degrees while the face was 6.6 degrees right of the path but -2.0 left of the target giving us a slight pull.
However, what I do like to see is the angle of attack at -5.6 or more, giving me a chance to “go down and after” the ball at impact. Too often people come into the ball too shallow, and they can hit the ball thin and fat.
As long as you stay forward with your weight and don’t back up, hitting down and through is fine unless you stall out with your pivot!
Impact and Finish
So.. from impact all I try to do is the finish, stay forward and make a full finish with my right shoulder. The only way I can foul things up is to fall back and slow down. Whenever this happens I will move my low point backwards and hit the ball fat and thin. My feeling is that if my right shoulder keeps moving, the hands and club can’t slow down through impact.
My Bunker Tips for you
- Set up with your spine centered and you weight slightly forward
- Your body should be slightly open to your target with your clubface pointing down your target line (more so than mine!)
- The club will move up and away following the lines of your body while the wrists hinge slightly to the top. This keeps the butt of the club between the ball and your toes
- From the top stay forward, hit down and through the shot, and keep everything moving…this will help your angle of attack to be steep enough to get “under” the ball making sure your low point is the same from swing to swing
- To the finish keep your right shoulder moving so you move into a full finish…stalling out here is a death-move!